European Commission Revives Tourism [Archives:2000/35/Local News]

August 28 2000

The European Commission, Technical Advisory Office in Sanaa, issued on August 24 a statement on the occasion of allocating I million Euro to revive tourism in Yemen.
The European Commission has supported tourism development in Yemen since 1989, when the first Tourism Master Plan was conceived. Subsequent EC-assisted interventions included the strengthening of collection and analysis of tourism statistics, a revision of the hotel and restaurant classification system and a survey of investment opportunities in seaside tourism along the Gulf of Aden. Whilst a detailed action plan will be developed during the forthcoming 6 months, the following priority areas of intervention have already been agreed upon:
– Marketing support through the provision of expertise in image building to offset the at present partially negative perception of Yemen in key tourism – this will also include the design of coherent destination promotion companies and the tourism policy statement.
– Strengthening the regulatory and supervisory systems in the General Tourism Authority, through continuous development and enforcement, the licensing and classification system of tourism facilities and the establishment of a comprehensive information database.
– Devising a system that can help local communities to benefit from tourism. Too often these communities bear the inconveniences of tourism for little return. There will also be action to develop model tourism locations. The impending reform in local government will give local communities a greater say in deciding whether they wish to participate in such developments.
– Training both for tourism administrators and tour guides. For most visitors the guides is the most important Yemeni person that they come into contact with. They are in effect national representatives and their training, awareness and appearance needs to be reflective of this important role.